Princes Rock On Parade
‘Princes Rock On Parade’ saw rock bands from Seymour, Wilderness, Saints Girls, and PAC join forces to create an epic line-up that showcased both original music and old classics. The brand new venue for this event, the Norwood Hotel, provided the perfect atmosphere for a truly authentic rock experience. Junior Rock Band opened the night with a bang, performing a thrilling rendition of Seven Nation Army, featuring PAC’s rising star Harrison on vocals. This set the tone for a memorable Princes Rock. Performances from three girls’ schools gave the boys an opportunity to hear some outstanding vocals and instrumentation, inspiring our younger ensembles. Year 12 band, Rock Band Blue (aka ‘Running With Scissors’) drew the concert to a close with their characteristic style and class that PAC concert-goers have come to love over the years. Ultimately, the night was a perfect farewell for all the leaving year 12s, and a fabulous continuation of the flourishing Princes Rock saga.
Angus Brill Reed
Captain of Music
ABODA Strings Workshop
On Sunday the 14 August in preparation for ABODA, the strings from PAC and Wilderness combined together for a workshop. The boys and girls were split off into their own sectionals where professional tutors helped everyone take a more in-depth look at their parts. After a short break everyone came together for a productive rehearsal with the help of Ms Paterson (PAC) and Ms Pope (Wilderness). Everyone got a chance to lead their sections and gained a lot of insight into the music and formed some new friendships from this experience. To finish the night, PAC and Wilderness string orchestras performed their pieces for a small but appreciative crowd of parents. Overall, a productive and fun rehearsal that everyone enjoyed, which certainly helped both ensembles go into the ABODA Festival with a great deal of confidence.
Vice-Captain of Music, Captain of Strings
Essentially Ellington Workshop
Ellington Festival is one of the major events on the band calendar which unfortunately has suffered a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19. The festival is organised by The Jazz at Lincoln Centre Orchestra, one of the leading jazz bands across the globe, with band members travelling from America to Australia specifically for the event. This year, rather than a competition at Brighton High School as per usual, the festival was a series of workshops led by NYC trombonist Vincent Gardner, who visited us at PAC.
The festival is aimed at encouraging young musicians to play music from the swing era during the 1920s, popularised by Duke Ellington. Each band played their three-song set to an exceptionally high standard, strongly emulating the key stylistic features of this genre of jazz which was reflected through Gardner’s high praise for both bands. We then enjoyed a half-an-hour workshop with Gardner which is the unique part of the experience in which he provided detailed feedback and analysis on our performances. A key point made by Gardner was the importance of maintaining a fluid approach when playing this style of music as well as further exploring the music beyond what is written on the page.
Another highlight was gaining an insight into Gardner’s knowledge of jazz music and listening to anecdotes about his career playing with some of the most influential jazz musicians in history. Ultimately, we all greatly appreciated Gardner’s contribution and the experience will certainly serve to improve the musicianship of all the members of the bands. While myself and other Year 12s will be sad to miss it, other band members are already looking forward to next year’s workshop with a genuine heavyweight of the jazz world.
Captain of Bands
In Week 4, PAC participated again in the annual ABODA Festival and competition. We entered several ensembles: Chamber Strings, Senior Drum Corps, and a Concert Band in three divisions. The school has participated in ABODA for many years now, with great results. Coming off a year in with a win in every Concert Band division, expectations were high, and while the ‘wins’ may not have been there this year, Adam Mason was nonetheless “extremely impressed.” All bands, except for the Junior Concert Band (Silver), received Gold in their divisions, meaning that our bands were all among the very best in their respective divisions. This was a great result. The Senior Concert Band was very close to winning the division, with the judges commending greatly both ours and the winner’s, Woodville High School’s, performances. It was also great to be back to an in-person event, at the newly improved Performing Arts Centre at Westminster. Well done to all boys on a job well done.
Vice-Captain of Bands